Meet Our Instructors

Infinity is a place where staff and instructors alike serve as adult mentors to all of our students.

Each instructor is carefully handpicked by the staff, based upon their cohesiveness within the mission and goals of Infinity’s programming. Kindness, open-mindedness, and the desire to see youth succeed in both their musical and artistic goals and their future lives, and technical proficiencies are all important factors in becoming a student mentor.

All instructors have a background in music and the arts, many through Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees within their fields, and some through practical experience such as touring, performing, or working for theaters or dance companies.

Student safety is at the forefront of all decision-making, and therefore all instructors are background checked prior to being hired.

Meet the Infinity Instructional Staff Team!

Adam McKillip

Mandolin Instructor

Adam McKillip, 26 year old Jamestown native, has over 14 years of music-related experience. His first string instrument, at age 11, was the mandolin where he studied under Bill Eckstrom until college. His interest in mandolin lead him to learn banjo, bass, guitar, and ukulele. Adam attended the JCC Fine Arts Music program for three years where he studied mandolin, guitar, piano, and alto saxophone. Adam has had the privilege of performing with many different bands throughout the Chautauqua region, with local musicians, with the Little Theatre production “Cash”, and pit orchestras for school musicals. Adam is also a former student of the Infinity program, where he studied under the direction of Bill Ward and was a part of the Infinity Bluegrass Project. He has been teaching for 6 years as a mandolin and guitar instructor. Adam is excited to be a part of the Infinity team and looks forward to sharing his passion of music with his students.

Adam Owens

Theater instructor, director of Drama Club and GLEE Club

Adam is a from the Jamestown area, having attended Southwestern Central Schools, as well as JCC and Fredonia State University. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. He has performed at theaters including the Lucille Ball Little Theater of Jamestown and the Santa Fe Playhouse in New Mexico. He spent several years in New York City where he appeared on stage off-off Broadway and weekly in an improv-comedy group called ComedySportz, Team NYC at the Broadway Comedy Club. After returning to Jamestown, he became reacquainted with the arts community; and as well as working at Infinity, also performs and directs shows at the Lucille Ball Little Theater.

Ashley Farnham

Theater Instructor

Ashley is a 23 year old Jamestown native. She has just returned from her studies at SUNY Brockport with 2 bachelors degrees, one in theater and one in Interdisciplinary Arts for Children. While in Jamestown Ashley was in many local productions on stage at Jamestown Community College, Jamestown High School and the she also did several productions with the Drama Enrichment Program. Ashley also performed in many local screen productions, several of which went on to win awards at film festivals like Jamestown’s very own insomniac film festival. While she was away at college Ashley performed in several shows with professional directors. She even created, directed produced and choreographed her own show. While in Brockport Ashley also got to work with local high school students as their acting coach in the local production of Les Miserables.  Her biggest accomplishment so far was acting on a 3 time Emmy award winning PBS television show in Connecticut for four weeks last year called The Cobblestone Corridor. Ashley is so excited to share her vast knowledge of acting on and off screen with the students of Infinity! 

Cody Hiller

Violin Instructor

Returning from Chicago, IL, Cody Hiller is excited to be actively teaching and performing in his hometown once again, having taught private students since 2012 and serving as a violin instructor at “Music for Kids,” a not-for-profit music school in Chicago.  He also has had extensive pedagogical training both at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory, where he received his Bachelor’s in violin performance, and at DePaul School of Music in Chicago, receiving his Master’s in the same field of study.  Hiller has an extensive performance career, working regularly with music of the early baroque through today’s newest compositions.  He has performed with various chamber ensembles as well as Baldwin Wallace’s Symphony Orchestra and the DePaul Symphony.  Recently, Hiller performed the world premier of Eliza Brown’s “A Soundwalk with Resi” with Ensemble 20+ in collaboration with soprano Jessica Aszodi at the 2016 Ear Taxi Music Festival in Chicago.  Performing in Ensemble 20+ under the direction of Michael Lewanski, Hiller has performed several other world premieres including works of Christopher Wendell Jones and George Flynn.  Cody’s career has led him to celtic and folk genres, country, rock, metal, and jazz.  He has appeared on albums from Matt Otis and Christopher Bell, and enjoys delving into many styles of playing.  As a soloist, Hiller performs frequently in recital, collaborating with many different musicians and a range of instrumentations.  He has been the first place recipient of the Josephine Fenton Gifford Award from the Jamestown Mozart Club, the CCMTA music scholarship, had the privilege of being selected for and attending Conference All State after receiving a perfect score on his NYSSMA solo, awarded the Semper Fidelis Award for musical excellence, and was winner of the Arlee Nelson Moore Scholarship Award.  Hiller was awarded a full tuition scholarship for his four years of attending Baldwin Wallace Conservatory which included the Dean’s Award, the Margaret Rusk Griffiths Talent Scholarship, and the Emilia M. Lucas Music Scholarship.  Cody then went on to receive further scholarships from DePaul School of Music.

Ashley Ordines

Art Instructor

A native of Jamestown, NY, Ashley Ordines first began taking photos and drawing during early childhood. She graduated from Edinboro University with a BA in Print Journalism & Mass Communications in 2014, and from Jamestown Community College with an AS in Fine Arts in 2011. Ashley’s art is heavily influenced by the natural world and she is inspired by illustrations/concept art of the 1930s-1960s, Pop Art and the Northern Renaissance. She also draws influence from video game concept art and is an avid gamer. Additionally, she is a passionate environmentalist and hopes to spread awareness of environmental issues facing our world through her art. Ashley currently works as a freelance artist focusing mainly on illustration, photography and graphic design.

Debra Eck

Art Instructor

Debra Eck is an internationally exhibited book and installation artist who works primarily with paper, text and thread. Originally from Essex in the UK, she has lived and worked in upstate New York for over 20 years. Debra received a BFA in painting from the University at Buffalo and an MA in Visual Culture from the University of Northumbria in Newcastle (UK). She teaches as an adjunct at Jamestown Community College and for many other arts and cultural organizations.

Debra has been the recipient of many grants and awards; most recently she was awarded recognition by the YWCA as a Woman of Achievement in Arts & Culture in part for her work in founding and directing a women’s art biennial “Women Create” in Western New York.

Gale Svenson-Campbell

Piano Instructor

Gale is a graduate of SUNY at Cortland in Recreation Education, while performing in many musicals, reader’s theater, choral and other performance groups. She has been involved in music all of her life, from piano lessons from age 7, to performing in groups playing piano, keyboard, or guitar, to being the music director at St. Timothy Lutheran Church since 1977. As music director, she accompanies the worship each week on organ or piano, directs the choir and plays keyboard in the contemporary praise band. She has accompanied for local musical theater and for high school singing groups.

Gale believes that music students should learn the basics of theory and of the instrument that they choose to play. As they progress, students should be able to choose the type of music they learn, while being exposed to many types of music, so they can make informed choices.

Gary Peters, Jr.

Art Instructor

Gary Peters, Jr. is a graduate of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale (Associates Degree in Advertising and Design) and Rochester Institute of Technology (Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts Illustration). He has been working as an artist and designer/illustrator in the Jamestown area since graduating from RIT in 1995. Gary is well known for his Lucy murals throughout the Downtown Jamestown area, as well as his work with the local Unexpected Guests Comedy Troupe.

Jacob Swanson

Saxophone Instructor, Infinity Saxophone Ensemble Director

Praised by audiences and composers for his “… gorgeous, lyrical tone, spectacular technique, and heartfelt musicality …”  Jacob Swanson has performed on concert series, television, and radio throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, Germany and Switzerland. His playing has inspired several composers to write for him as a soloist and his collaborating ensembles including Rob Deemer, Andrew Martin Smith, Charles Terranova, Peter Edwards, Kate Parker, Michael McGough, Tim Bausch, Scott Miller, Nathan Hall, David Marc Alterman, Frank Zabel and Dan Knorr.

With an inextinguishable passion for chamber music, Swanson performs regularly as member of the Decho Ensemble which he cofounded in 2011 with long-time collaborator Sarah Marchitelli. Their repertoire includes established works for saxophone, transcriptions, and new works written for the Decho Ensemble. In addition to their all-saxophone programming, the Decho Ensemble has collaborated with vocalists, instrumentalists, dancers, poets, composers, and orchestras presenting highly varied programs. Swanson has also performed as member of the Erie Quartet which, in 2008, won the State University of New York at Fredonia Concerto Competition.

After several years of preparation and research, Swanson assisted Carina Rascher in the Ries&Erler publication of Erwin Dressel’s Duo Konzert für Sopran – und Altsaxopon und Kleines Orchester (1965). In 2014 he presented the world premiere of this monumental work with Sarah Marchitelli and the Trinity Chamber Orchestra in Cleveland, Ohio.

As an educator, Swanson actively shares his passion for music with others. He teaches instrumental music for the Gowanda Central School District in Gowanda, NY and maintains a studio at Infinity Visual and Performing Arts in Jamestown, NY. He is co-founder and director of the Infinity Saxophone Ensemble (a youth saxophone orchestra) with fellow saxophonist, Sarah Marchitelli. Swanson teaches for the New Horizons Band of Western New York at S.U.N.Y. Fredonia and is adjunct faculty teaching studio saxophone lessons at Jamestown Community College.

Swanson holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the State University of New York at Fredonia where he studied with saxophonist Wildy Zumwalt. He has additionally studied with Carina Raschèr.

www.jacobswanson.com

Jamie Lee

Voice and Theater Instructor

JamieLee, a Jamestown, NY native, is a seasoned singer and actress. JamieLee began performing at the age of five and has not stopped. She is a graduate of JHS and Stony Brook University where she had experience and training in both vocal and performing arts. JamieLee is active in the local community theater scene and traveled for the last four years with the Lightening Strikes Twice band. She is a judge and mentor with Chautauqua’s Got Talent and was one of the original members of Infinity. JamieLee is excited to be part of Infinity again helping students embrace their love of performing arts.

Jan Braeger

Fabric Arts Instructor

Jan Braeger is a lifelong resident of Jamestown, NY.  She is a graduate of Jamestown High School and Allegheny College where she earned her Bachelors Degree in Communications. 

Jan was introduced to music and the arts early in life, as both of her parents were music teachers.  In addition, she was fortunate enough to spend many summers living at Chautauqua Institution.  Although she played the violin and sang in the A’Cappella Choir, Jan found her niche behind the scenes designing and creating costumes for local high school and college theater productions.  Sewing has been a lifelong hobby, and Jan has costumed over 25 musicals and plays, predominately for Cassadaga Valley Central School where her husband, Joe Braeger, was the musical director, and also for Jamestown Community College.  She especially enjoyed working on the productions of Tommy, Les Miserables, Mary Poppins, Seussical and Cabaret.

Throughout those shows, Jan instructed many volunteers in the skills of sewing and adding creative elements to produce unique pieces.  Jan enjoys studying a particular time period and then recreating the style of that time for the stage.  In addition to costuming, Jan also enjoys sewing clothing and custom window treatments.

Jan loves to share her creative talents with her students and wants others to know the joy of sewing. She is very excited to be part of the Infinity Team.

Jeremy Bunce

Guitar Instructor, Ensemble Director–The Currents, Joan and the Arcs

Jeremy Bunce is a guitarist from Jamestown, NY who has been performing around the area for the past 10 years. As a long time student of Infinity he was involved in various groups including Midas and The Bruce Peterson Blues Project, performing a variety of genres including blues, jazz, classical, and hard rock/metal. Along with guitar he plays drums, bass, and keyboards. He now has an interest in audio engineering and hopes to one day open a studio of his own.

Jim Torrey

Drum Instructor

Jim Torrey’s passion for studying and playing the drums started at the age of nine years old, and has grown even stronger over the past forty years. He had been teaching privately for sixteen years, and has been on the teaching staff at Infinity Visual & Performing Arts, Inc for many years.

Jim studied under Mr. Nelson Kass for several years. Mr. Kass was a student of Al Miller, who is a very prominent drummer and teacher from Long Island. Due to Jim’s hard work, commitment and dedication, he has had many achievements. One of them being the first drummer to ever win the Outstanding Musicianship Award while he attended Jamestown Community College.

Jim has been involved in several local bands over the years such as: Joint Effort, Mindchoir, Cold Shot and Deep Water. He is currently the drummer for the band Planet Fred, who is presently in the recording studio working on a CD.

Jim feels that it is an honor and a privilege to teach so many talented children and adults. His students can attest to one of Jim’s favorite mottos, “Perfect practice makes perfect.”

John Cross

Infinity Big Band Director

John Cross (The Jazz Cat) is the former Director of Bands at Cassadaga Valley High Schools (1981-2015). His High School Concert and Jazz Bands have consistently received gold medals and first place awards in national festivals held in Pittsburgh, Orlando, Williamsburg, Hershey, New Orleans, Chicago, Toronto, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.   He has been the Jazz Director at the Chautauqua Institution Summer Music Camp since 1999. Mr. Cross attended Edinboro University and received his Master’s Degree in Music Education from SUNY Fredonia.

Mr.Cross has served as the music director for the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival since 1992. He has provided music scoring and performed with Paula Poundstone, Ellen DeGeneres, the Smothers’ Brothers, Bob Newhart and Lucie Arnaz as well as numerous other national celebrities.  His jazz orchestras, The Babalu Band, The Infinity Big Band and Chautauqua Big Band Swing, continue to perform many engagements throughout the regional area.

Mr. Cross is the founder and conductor of the Chautauqua Concert Band from 1995 to the present. Mr. Cross has served as the musician contractor/performer for the Summer Stock pit orchestras at the Library Theatre in Warren, PA (1986-2004).  John served as the band leader/arranger for the Chautauqua Lake Idol/Voices shows in Bemus Point (2004-2014).  He also has six years of experience as a NYSSMA adjudicator.

Mr. Cross has performed over 6,000 concerts with 25 different musical ensembles including over 200 musical productions. He has improvised in jazz clubs from Chicago to New Orleans in addition to engagements with The Temptations, Don Menza, Grover Washington, Jr., Marian McPartland, the Bellamy Brothers, Manhatten Transfer, Vassar Clements, and the 10,000 Maniacs. Mr. Cross has performed with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and has been a featured soloist and arranger with the Bemus Bay Pops Orchestra and the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra.

Mr. Cross was co-founder of the Jazz Vespers series and was an artist in residence for 5 years at Chautauqua Institution. He has been featured with guitarist/vocalist, Bill Ward in “Jazz Contribution to Christian Praise” and as a jazz soloist for several 8:00 PM Sacred Song Services. Chautauqua Amphitheater highlights include opening for National Recording acts Waylon Jennings, Diamond Rio, Loretta Lynn, the Gatlin Brothers and Bob Newhart. Mr. Cross’ latest CD release with the Bill Ward Band is a top seller titled, Highway In The Desert.

Julie Anderson

Piano Instructor

Julie Anderson has taught general music classes, piano, and guitar. A graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a B.S. in Elementary Education, she applies leading education ideas to reading music, looking for patterns in rhythms and sound to teach students to become musically literate. Julie has graduate credits in music education studying with Jean Sinor, Grace Nash, and Jane Alexander. Since coming to Jamestown in 1989, she has studied piano with Mrs. Helga Hulse and performed in 6 faculty recitals of keyboard instructors. She currently sings at Zion Convenant Church under the direction of Brian Bogey, plays with 2 praise bands, and is in the handbell choir.

Karen Suber

Music Together® Instructor

“Ms. Karen” (as her pre-school aged families like to call her) began piano studies at the age of 4, and continued intensively with piano through her early teens at Eastman School of Music.  Her natural draw to music early in life also lead her to pursue band instruments, chamber singing, vocal training, guitar, music theory, and ultimately music therapy at SUNY Fredonia.  However, her greatest musical triumphs have not come from these things alone: her greatest personal success has been learning to enjoy the art of making music, and helping others learn to enjoy that experience as well.

Karen has been actively teaching the Music Together® curriculum of music and movement since March, 2008, is currently a Certification Level I Music Together teacher and owns and operates Yellow House Music as a licensed center director.  Using the Music Together curriculum, she now has a determined focus on finding fun and engaging ways to build Basic Music Competence skills in children of all ages: family group settings for birth to Kindergarten aged children, and peer group settings for school age children.  She believes strongly that children learn through what she calls the three E’s: Exposure, Experimentation, and Enjoyment!  For more information on Music Together classes, visit www.yellowhousemusickids.com.

Kate Chatterton

Piano Instructor

Kate  is a composer and pianist from Dewittville, NY. She has written for a variety of different ensembles including art songs, choral works, small and large chamber ensembles, and electronic works. Kate draws inspiration from literature and art and these influences allow for a vivid expression of life and a unique and eager approach to composition.
Kate’s own music has been performed throughout Western New York as well as other areas on the east coast. In 2011, Kate  had a New York City premier of her work for soprano and alto saxophone and electronics We Are Art, written for Jake Swanson and Sarah Marchitelli.
As an Infinity Alumni, Kate has performed with numerous groups including Infinity  Blues Project and the Infinity Jazz Quartet.
Kate is currently finishing her Bachelor of Music in Composition and a minor in English at SUNY Fredonia. Her composition teachers include Dr. Karl Boelter and Dr. Robert Deemer and her piano teacher’s include Stijn De Cock, Fr. Sean Duggan, and Helga Hulse.

Kate Rinko

Infinite Exploration Instructor

Kate is a graduate of SUNY Fredonia where she received her Bachelors Degree in Communication: Audio Production.

Kate’s main goal in her instruction is to get her students to be able to take their time and explore different art forms and instruments before they find what they are passionate about. She believes that genuine excitement is the driving force for students to want to practice and explore new genres and techniques on their own.

Kate continues to study different areas of art disciplines so that she is able to help her students find their paths by offering more and more every day. Currently, Kate is able to teach beginning instruction for ukulele, guitar, bass, hand drums, various art forms and dance. She will also focus on basic music reading and rhythms.

Ken Larsen

Guitar Instructor

Ken was born in Europe and raised in New York City. He relocated to Jamestown in 1985. Though studying Anthropology and Economics at Hunter college, music was his passion. After playing in various groups in NYC, Jamestown became his home and where his music and the Culinary arts took off. Owning and operating two restaurants among other food service experience, music still took precedence. Ken started teaching at Infinity in 2001. He teaches guitar, bass, and now beginner piano. He has also directed a number of Infinity ensembles. Ken lives in Falconer with his wife Tina and their 10 children.

Kyle Gustafson

Guitar, Trumpet, and French Horn Instructor

Kyle Gustafson is 30 years old and has grown up in the town of Jamestown, NY. Kyle has his Bachelor degree in Music Education from the State University of New York at Fredonia. Kyle has been an avid trumpet player for 20 years and has studied under Mary Anne Harp, Bill Knight and Pete Lindblom.  He also enjoys the guitar and has studied it for twelve years. Kyle enjoys teaching and has an increasing student roster here at Infinity.

Lauren Engallina

Vocal Instructor

Lauren Engallina, Soprano, was born and raised in Houston Texas and began singing at the age of 3. She has been involved in choirs since the 6th grade and is currently a member of the Chautauqua Chamber Singers. In high school, she performed in several musicals and became a member of the Thespian troupe 6861 in 2008. She received a Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance from Lamar University in Beaumont Texas in 2014. While studying there, she performed in several operas including Die Zauberflöte by Mozart as the 1st lady. She was also the president of the international music fraternity Delta Omicron. She moved to the Jamestown area in 2015 and has performed with the JCC Jazz Ensemble and the JCC Uncommoners. Engallina has experience performing in several genres including, musical theater, jazz, classical and opera. She is classically trained and is planning on teaching her students vocal technique that they can apply to several genres.

Mariah Melendy

Dance Instructor

Mariah began her ballet studies as a young girl at Rafael Grigorian’s School of Classical Ballet. She broadened her dance skills when she began studying lyrical, jazz and modern in 2000. Mariah has participated in several productions of The Nutcracker with The Rainbow Dance Arts Company, as well as 3 productions of The Nutcracker in Motion with The New Heights Dance Company. She has been teaching ballet, lyrical and jazz in Buffalo and Elmira since she graduated from the University at Buffalo in 2008. Mariah recently moved to Jamestown, and is excited about joining the team at Infinity!

Molly Strong

Art Instructor

Molly Strong is an active member of the local arts community. She is a part of The Active Artist’s Alliance group in Jamestown, where she shows her work in various venues with the support of other artists. She frequently enters national juried art competitions. In the summer of 2014, Molly was awarded the opportunity to showcase her work in NYC on a megatron screen in Times Square. Molly is also a percussionist who enjoys performing music with her band. She has experience and training in visual arts such as drawing, painting, photography, sculpting and collage. Her range of painting mediums include : oils, encaustics, watercolors, acrylics and gouache. As a sculptor she has used clay, wax, silicon, and mixed mediums such as found objects, metal and wood. At Infinity, Molly is happy to offer support and guidance to aspiring artists of all ages and skill levels in this safe and exciting environment.

Patrick Becker

Vocal Instructor

Patrick Philip Becker, Tenor, is an alumnus from Mercyhurst University. He recently performed Monastatos in Die Zauberflöte and Pedrillo in DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL with the D’Angelo Opera Theater as well as Cosmic Ray in Thompson Street Opera Company’s production of COSMIC RAY AND THE AMAZING CHRIS.
In past seasons, he was a young artist with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre as the cover for Don Ottavio in DON GIOVANNI.
Other roles he has performed are Nanki-Poo in the MIKADO and Raoul de St. Brioche in DIE LUSTIGE WITWE, both with Loudoun Lyric Opera. While in the DC metropolitan area, he performed as the Defendant in TRIAL BY JURY. Locally, he has been seen as Normanno in LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR and Dr. Blind in DIE FLEDERMAUS with Erie Opera Theatre. He is also a member of the professional chorus of the Pittsburgh Opera.
In the concert arena, he has sung as the Tenor Soloist in CARMINA BURANA and the Bach MAGNIFICAT, with the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh and Masterworks Concert Chorale respectively.

Rachel Selice

Clarinet Instructor

Rachel Selice is from Buffalo, New York, and is currently living in the Southern Tier. After graduating high school, she moved to Louisiana and attended Louisiana State University’s College of Music & Dramatic Arts. There she received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in clarinet performance. At LSU she had the opportunity to study with many clarinet professors including Tasha Warren, Robert DiLutis and Deborah Chodacki. Other than her performance degrees, Ms. Selice has over two semesters finished of a Masters of Music Education, which she began at the University of Akron in Ohio. Currently, she is a member of the Erie County Wind Ensemble and in the past has performed with the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, Opera Louisiane, Cleveland Symphonic Winds, the Clakron Clarinet Quartet and many other groups throughout Southeast Louisiana and Ohio.

Ms. Selice was a long time instructor with an El Sistema program in Baton Rouge called Kids’ Orchestra. There she taught clarinet, recorder, and general music. While with Kids’ Orchestra she received a teacher of the year award in 2015 and had many successful beginning students. Outside of her music career, Ms. Selice is a dedicated cyclist, knitter, lover of plants, and highest quality of life seeker. Her goal is to one day live in a tiny house in the mountains.

Renee Pye

Art Instructor

Reneé Pye is a professional artist from Bemus Point, NY. Sculpting, Doll making, painting, and mixed media are just a few of the classes she enjoys teaching. She has designed many classes working with students as an Artist In Residence for the Arts Council for Chautauqua County for over 10 years. Her classes are designed to discover individual creativity, pride, and self confidence. Making art accessible and fun for everyone is a priority for Reneé.

Rich Schuler

Hand Drum & Drum Set Instructor

Rich has taught Hand Drumming and drum set for children and adults.  He explores African influenced drumming, helping people share the power of rhythm first hand. He promotes conscious listening, teamwork and communication through rhythm and the ancient art of group hand drumming.
Rich’s programs are high energy, hands on events for kids and adults that provide immediate joy and results while encouraging self-expression. All programs are age appropriate and can be one stand alone class or a continuing series using rhythm games and exercises that focus on fun and creativity. Participants quickly learn to work together and create beautiful music.

He also facilitates group drumming events, which are a unique way to celebrate community and eliminate stress.

Rich has taught workshops at Chautauqua Special Studies, Cassadaga Job Corp, Aspire of WNY, St Bonaventure University, Alfred State College and has also works for the Arts Council of Chautauqua County with the After School program. Rich is the founder and Organizer of Jamestown Thunder Drum and Dance Circle which meets monthly with over 150 members. Rich is also a member of the Drum Circle Facilitators Guild.

Ron Packard

Ron began piano lessons at age 9 with Mrs. Lincoln of Kennedy, NY.  Ron also studied with George Johnson of Warren, PA,  Mrs. Eddy, of Jamestown, NY, and Helga Hulse of Jamestown, NY.  He studied applied music at Fredonia State.  In 1980, Ron began teaching piano lessons to a small number of students, and he also began to work as a DJ in the Jamestown area. In 1996 Ron recorded a mini LP of classical dance music with famous 70’s producer, Boris Midney, in Burbank, CA.

Most recently, Ron performed at the Sheldon House in Jamestown under the direction of Valeria Nunn. He teaches all levels and ages, and for anyone who has a desire to play the piano. Ron looks forward to sharing his passion for music with students at Infinity.

Ryan Hawkins

Steel Drum Instructor

Ryan Hawkins is a multi-instrumentalist from Jamestown, NY. Ryan has been playing music since she was 5 years old. She started with piano, then, after joining the Infinity Visual and Performing Arts Program, learned how to play a multitude of instruments, including steel drum, accordion, bass, banjo, ukulele, mandolin, and flute. She has been involved with several bands in the area, including SYMBA, Steel Pan Alley, and Mighty Little.

Ryan Lindfors

Drum Instructor

Ryan Lindfors was born and raised in Jamestown, NY. He attended JCC and SUNY Fredonia each for one year as a percussion performance major. Having started his musical endeavors at the young age of four with guitar lessons and joining vocal choirs, he found his true passion to be drums when his first kit was purchased for him by his parents for Christmas of 2007. He worked with local musicians and took private lessons all the way through high school until graduation. During his time in high school, he participated in Concert Band, Marching Band, A Cappella, Madrigals, Full Orchestra, NYSSMA, All County, All State, and much more. During the last half of 2015, Ryan was touring all of North America with the California based, internationally renowned metal act, Bermuda. Ryan also teaches at the Warren County Summer Music School as a drum instructor.

Sara Rafaloski

Mandolin Instructor

Sara Rafaloski has been playing things with strings all of her life. When she turned 4 years old her mother asked her what instrument she would like to play an she chose the violin. She began lessons soon after. Her father always played guitar in the house so eventually she began playing that too. In 7th grade her mother let her pick another instrument to play and her love for bass guitar started.  In high school Sara joined the group of students in putting together a Renaissance Dinner.  She wanted to be the strolling minstrel and went in search of a Lute. The closest Medieval looking instrument Sara could find was the mandolin. Love at first sight. Sara’s love for music and performing continued throughout her adult years. Currently, Sara is the mandolin, fiddle and stand up bass player for The Tongue Cluckers, and the mandolin, guitar and bass player for Will and Sara. She also plays bass and cello for many local theaters for Musical productions in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties.

Sarah Marchitelli

Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet, Steel Drum, Music Theory Instructor, Music Adventures, Infinity Saxophone Ensemble Director

Sarah Marchitelli is an active saxophonist in today’s classical music scene. She has performed extensively including concert series in New York City, Cleveland, Buffalo, Rochester, Erie, Boston, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Germany, and Norway and on live radio in Cleveland, Rochester, and Jamestown. Her efforts have inspired several contemporary composers to write for her and her collaborators.

Marchitelli’s continuous involvement in chamber music has taken her around the United States and Puerto Rico as well as to Europe. In 2008, she won the State University of New York at Fredonia’s Concerto Competition as a member of the Erie Saxophone Quartet. In 2011, Marchitelli founded the group Decho Ensemble with fellow saxophonist Jacob Swanson.  The group presents concerts of new music for two saxophones as well as transcriptions.  They frequently invite other musicians to play with them providing dynamic color and variety to their programs.

Sarah holds both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the State University of New York at Fredonia. In addition to her university studies, Sarah has been part of many summer workshops and individualized instruction in both the United States and Europe. Her teachers have included saxophonists Wildy Zumwalt, Christopher Oldfield, Carina Raschèr, and Harry White.

 In addition to teaching at Infinity, Sarah is an adjunct professor at the State University of New York at Fredonia.

Steve Davis

Piano and Drum Instructor

Steve Davis was born and raised in Jamestown, NY.  Steve was one of the 7 original Infinity students when the program began in 1998. From that time to now he has become proficient with piano, drums, and voice. Steve has performed and toured with several bands including The Crumbles featuring Jeff Erickson (10,000 Maniacs), Big Leg Emma, The Cale Hawkins Band and the Steve Johnson Band. Currently, Steve performs with Preach Freedom and Connect, Musicquarium, and the Buffalo Afrobeat Orchestra.  Steve also continues to be involved in the music ministry at Emmanuel Baptist Church, here in Jamestown, where his love for music originally began.

Suzanne Fassett

Drum & Mallet Percussion Instructor

Suzanne Fassett has been a performer and educator for over 20 years, with musical and educational experiences spanning broadly across genres and generations. 

Beginning in 1991, Suzanne started her professional performing career with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra as a percussionist, having the opportunity to perform with Evelynn Glennie, Doc Severinsen, Rosemary Clooney, Ben Vareen, Marvin Hamlisch and many others. She also has played in the pit of over 20 musicals on drum set, bringing her musical stylings to shows like “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Godspell,” “Damn Yankees,” “The Sound of Music,” and many more. Suzanne has also been in demand as a jazz drummer, playing in big bands and combos throughout Southern Indiana/Southern Illinois. 

Suzanne’s teaching career began with 7 years in the K-12 schools teaching general, instrumental and choral music to all grade levels. From 2004 – 2017, she served as the Director of Bands/Music Instructor at Olney Central College in Olney, Illinois. There she served as the Artistic Director for the OCC Jazz Festival, bringing in guest speakers and artists such as Jamey Aebersold, Steve Houghton and Pat Harbison to reach rural youth, spread the word about jazz and express the value of improvisation and personal music making. She also was the Founding Director of the OCC Community Band, as well as directing the OCC Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble and Pep Band. Her time at Olney Central College also provided the opportunity to reach many students who previously had little to no musical experience through teaching Music Appreciation and Music in Multicultural America; her goal was to connect the people of today to the voices of the past through the music of Beethoven and Berlioz, as well as the voices of many diverse cultures and influences through African-American Spirituals, the Blues, Rock and Roll and Hip Hop.

Suzanne recently relocated to Western New York with the professional goal of continuing to share her experience and love of music with people of all ages, through performance and engagement with the musical opportunities available throughout the region. Suzanne hopes to discover and connect with a network of people who are passionate about music for their own personal development, but also who seek to use music to develop bridges between people and cultures.

To learn more about Suzanne, please visit www.suzannelfassett.com, “like” her page on Facebook “Suzanne Fassett,” or follow her on Twitter and Instagram @suzannelfassett.

Teal Weatherley

Vocal Instructor

Teal Weatherley is a musician who has been performing locally for several years. She began performing musicals with the JCC Uncommoners, and continued her music career playing with local gigging bands such as Two for Flinching, Zamira, Steve Johnson Band, Coal Train, and We Speak Canadian. She has been classically trained with vocal instructor Jody Vitarelli, and has followed in her mentor’s footsteps by becoming a vocal instructor herself. She currently enjoys singing with her Church band and standing in with fellow musician friends for special events.

Tim O’Brien

Violin Instructor

Tim is 26 years old and grew up in the Jamestown/Busti area. Tim studied Violin Performance at Allegheny College. Upon graduation he continued playing in the local jamestown area as well as several orchestras and bands in Pittsburgh Pa. Tim believes through hard work, perfect practice, and dedication that we can accomplish anything.

Victoria Mazurkiewicz

Voice Instructor, director of Infinity Voices,

Victoria Mazurkiewicz attended Houghton College: Greatbatch School of Music where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education in May 2012.  Victoria has performed in traveling collegiate choirs, operas, and musical.  She currently performs in the Cattaraugus and Chautauqua County areas. Victoria also teaches early childhood classes at Infinity, and formerly for the Head Start Program in Chautauqua County.